Keanu Reeves said it best—”you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they’ll let any butt-reaming a**hole be a father.” In Martha Elcan and Conner Wharton’s short film, Ladies Most Deject, a young teen is forced to become an adult way too soon.
Our story opens with three young girls, Charlie (Conner Wharton), Paisley (Ellie Williams), and Jane (Sofia Adams), taking their baby brother, Bobby Allen (Josiah Wells), to the babysitter on their way to school.
Charlie is the focus of the story. She is set up as a promising student coming from a difficult life at home. What should be a typical day for the four siblings now turns into a nightmare when their mother’s (Pepper Binkley) boyfriend, Darryl (Ben Mackel), is in the house, and the two are cooking meth. At this point, Charlie does what she should have done long ago and takes responsibility for her brother and sisters, picking up her mother’s slack.
“…does what she should have done long ago and takes responsibility for her brother and sisters…”
Why do we let anyone have kids? Because maybe through adversity, those kids become stronger than their parents. Sadly, they should be allowed to be kids. Ladies Most Deject is an inspiring tale from start to finish. The storytelling is top-notch. The first half of the short had me falling in love with this band of sisters caring for their brother, and then everything changes with a shot of a giant pickup truck in front of their home.
We quickly root for Charlie as she stands up to her mother. In contrast, I also loved the family’s interplay. With Charlie now in charge, she is forced to not only stand up to the problem but be resourceful to find solutions. You just want to step through the screen and help. All this heightened conflict is juxtaposed with Paisley and Jane just wanting to be kids.
Ladies Most Deject is a beautiful short film about taking charge of one’s life when life demands it. Elcan and Wharton’s storytelling is on point and builds to a genuinely uplifting and touching conclusion.
"…taking charge of one's life when life demands it."